Weed protesters 'not going anywhere'

Police stand guard as cannabis advocates protest the government's plan to relist the plant as a narcotic on Monday. Photo by Chanat Katanyu
Police stand guard as cannabis advocates protest the government's plan to relist the plant as a narcotic on Monday. Photo by Chanat Katanyu

A gathering of cannabis advocacy groups outside Government House who are opposed to the relisting of the plant said they will stay there until a law to control its use was enacted.

Led by Prasitthichai Nunual from the People's Network for Cannabis Legislation in Thailand, some 300 pro-cannabis protesters on Sunday began their rally against the blacklisting of the plant.

The plant was decriminalised in 2022 after the Bhumjaithai Party made the issue its flagship campaign policy ahead of the 2019 election.

However, decriminalisation happened before the legislation needed to control and regulate its use and raised concerns about abuse, particularly among younger age groups.

A cannabis and hemp bill passed its first reading but was rejected in the second.

With the Pheu Thai-led government planning to relist cannabis as a narcotic drug, speculation was rife that a law needed to control the plant's use would be unnecessary.

Mr Prasitthichai said the cannabis advocacy groups would stay as long as it took to pressure the enactment of the law to regulate cannabis use.

"It's no worse than tobacco or alcohol and has medicinal properties," he said.

Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
: :


  • abuse: the use of something in a bad, dishonest, or harmful way - การใช้ในทางที่ผิด
  • advocacy: the giving of public support to an idea, a course of action or a belief - การสนับสนุน
  • bill: a proposal for a law - ร่างกฎหมาย
  • blacklist (verb): to put the name of a person, a company, a product or a country on a blacklist (a list of the names of people, companies, products or countries that an organization or a government considers unacceptable and that must be avoided) - ใส่ในบัญชีรายชื่อของคนที่ทำไม่ดี
  • decriminalise: make not criminal, so that people can do activity without breaking the law -
  • flagship: the most important product, service, building, etc. that an organisation owns or produces - ผลิตภัณฑ์หรือบริการหลัก
  • legislation: a law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament - กฎหมาย, การออกกฎหมาย
  • medicinal (adj): helpful in the process of healing illness or infection - ซึ่งมีคุณสมบัติเป็นยา
  • narcotic: an illegal drug such as heroin, cocaine or crystal methamphetamine - ยาเสพย์ติด
  • oppose: to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy - คัดค้าน
  • protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
  • rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม
  • reading of a bill: one of many times a law is read in front of parliament and voted on and debated, before being passed into law -
  • regulate: to control an activity officially by using rules - ควบคุม
  • rife: very common or frequent - มีอยู่ทั่วไป,แพร่หลาย
  • speculation: ideas or discussion about why something has happened or what might happen - คาดการณ์ ประเมิณสถานการณ์

Do you like the content of this article?